Hitman the Movie the Review

I must admit that I’m a huge fan of the Hitman series. I loved all of the games, but you probably know that because I reviewed at least one of them on this very blog. When I heard that the movie was being made, I knew it was going to be bad. But I also knew I will have to watch it out of the love for the series.

DVD Cover

As expected, the story from the game was scrapped completely and re-written from scratch. The only elements that remained intact were cosmetic. So the main character is still known only as 47, he is still bold, has a bar code tattoo on the back of his head, and wears his black suit, and a red tie. He also gets his contracts via laptop emblazoned with the trademark lily logo just like in the games. There are also couple of shots that tried to mimic the 3rd person perspective view from the game.That’s about it. Everything else was changed.

Agent 47 is no longer a genetically engineered clone, but an orphan trained from a very early age by the “Organization” which is no longer the ICA we know from the games. No recurring characters such as the unfortunate Agent Smith, or Diana Burnwood. In fact I thought Diana will be the female lead in this movie, but instead we got a bitchy, foul mouthed prostitute who just can’t seem to keep her clothes on and keeps interfering,
and getting in the way.

hitman_mirror.jpg

They also failed to capitalize on some of the very memorable locations and settings from the game. Some of my favorite were the Hell/Heaven Masquerade club, the Opera House, The Casino and the Mardi Grass. This was a perfect movie to show our hero traveling all over the world trying to find clues by performing strategic hits in various exotic locations. Instead, the whole move takes place in Russia and our locales are: gray and dirty Moscow Streets, Moscow train station, rural Russian back roads, and a Russian Orthodox temple. Sort of bland and unimpressive for what it could have been.

I admit, the whole super-human clone bit was always a bit cheesy so I can see how someone could want to remove it. It worked in the games, but perhaps it would not work on the big screen. But then again, if you are making adaptation of a successful franchise why mess around with the plot? It’s not like someone will accuse you of bad writing because you were simply faithful to the original. You can still create dynamic dialog, and memorable characters while working within the framework of the original plot. But this is Hollywood, and the temptation to remake the story to cater to the lowest common denominator seems to be irresistible.

hitman_train.jpg

The usual formula is to take a successful property and turn it into a blockbuster action flick with lots of shooting, explosions and mandatory gratuitous nudity without regards for the theme, tone, and mood of the original.

The Hitman movie is precisely that – it is Agent 47 meets Mission Impossible. Over the top action, extensive slow motion shoot-out scenes with high body count, and prolonged martial arts sequences are basically the “meat” of the movie. Very little is left from the original game play experience which awarded stealth, subtlety and blending into the background. In the beginning we can see him perform a couple of stealth kills, but that ends abruptly when the tables are turned and our hero is exposed. From from that moment, till the and his primary modus operandi seems to be full frontal charge. Scene after scene we see him burst into one place or another, whip out his guns and then keep shooting until no one is left alive.

The portrayal of Agent 47 is not true to the original either. In the games the protagonist was cold, detached, cynical unflinching and extremely professional. He seemed world weary, and while capable of good and compassion he never let these things interfere with his job, or compromise his safety. Timothy Olyphant’s take on this character comes close to the mark, but misses by a considerable margin. He sort of got the look, and some of the mannerisms – and sometimes he is able to pull off the classic 47 “no bullshit, just business” demeanor. Unfortunately most of the time his warm and somewhat youthful and energetic personality shines through. In fact, 47 seems to be written to reflect that – as sort of an innocent, misunderstood and socially maladjusted personality. He is actually sort of a nerd incapable of normal social interactions and very uncomfortable around women. In the very first scene we see him, he gets hit on by some ditzy blond who tells him he should not put ice in whiskey, and he just runs away like a school boy.

hitman_leg.jpg

While the games never really show 47 being intimate with a woman it can be somewhat justified. The only time we see our hero is during or between missions. And unlike James Bond and other action heroes modeled after him, 47 doesn’t mix business with pleasure. When he is on a job, he has no time to fuck around (both in literal, and figurative sense of the word). In the movie however any sexual advances from the opposite sex seem to make him very uncomfortable, and he reacts very awkwardly every time. His overall attitude towards sexuality sort of reminds me of the uneasiness with which Dexter approaches the same topic. I do not agree with this interpretation though. I don’t think the real 47 would ever have to resort to using a sedative to “escape” from under a half naked chick desperately trying to undress him. I have no clue what the point of that scene was but my brother agreed that it made the protagonist look totally gay.

If I was to describe the Hitman movie in one sentence, I would say it is a light hearted action flick about awkward, sexually ambiguous, 40 year old virgin killing machine with a heart of gold. Or in other words, complete departure from the source and a total waste of time. This just supports my theory, that movies based on video games totally suck. I have yet to find a single exception to this rule.

[tags]hitman, hitman the movie, movies, review[/tags]

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8 Responses to Hitman the Movie the Review

  1. Where are the stars?

    This movie sucked… alot…
    It was boring and I disliked most of it.

    I think you kinda summed it up right but wrong:

    40 year old virgen meets the illusionist in an un-intertaining “use gore and explosions to cover up a bad movie” flick.

    It WAS better than crank…but I wanted to hit my balls with a stapler while watching that.

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  2. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote post="2507"]Where are the stars?[/quote]

    You mean the hReview format? I ditched it when I realized that my scores were completely arbitrary and inconsistent. Putting a numerical score on a review sort of implies that there is some sort of objective scoring system, or a scale behind it. But there is none – it’s all very subjective and personal and follows no discernible pattern. I really can’t consistently quantify how much I like or dislike a given movie using the same scale – so I stopped.

    [quote comment="9319"]40 year old virgen meets the illusionist in an un-intertaining “use gore and explosions to cover up a bad movie” flick.

    It WAS better than crank…but I wanted to hit my balls with a stapler while watching that.[/quote]

    Never seen illusionist, but yeah – sounds about right. :)

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  3. Mart SINGAPORE Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I kinda enjoyed it, mainly because I’ve never played the game before! I guess being ignorant of the source material helps in this regard. Most of my friends love the Spiderman/Xmen movies while I thought they sucked big time.

    But it’s true what you said. Whenever the lead girl made a sexual advance towards him, he acts like a total wimp. He wastes a good syringe of sedative just to throw a girl off him.

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  4. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    [quote post="2507"]I kinda enjoyed it, mainly because I’ve never played the game before! I guess being ignorant of the source material helps in this regard. Most of my friends love the Spiderman/Xmen movies while I thought they sucked big time.[/quote]

    Oh man, Spiderman sucked real bad. I hated it from the first movie, but the third one was just to horrible for words.

    X-men was tolerable – I did not mind it that much. It was bad in it’s own little way but I was ok with it.

    But you are right. Lack of exposure to the source helps. For example, I actually liked the Hellboy movie and will probably go see the new one. But that might be because I never read the comic book.

    [quote post="2507"]He wastes a good syringe of sedative just to throw a girl off him.[/quote]

    Not only that, but it was absolutely pointless. I mean, he could just toss her off or something. I mean, this guy is supposed to be the ultimate assassin and like the biggest bad ass in town. Real agent 47 wouldn’t take shit from some wimpy bitch. In the games he actually was a pretty intimidating guy – most bad guys would literally shit their pants if they could see him. They rarely did though. :P

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  5. Geoff CANADA Mozilla Firefox Debian GNU/Linux says:

    All I remember about the Illusionist is that it was no The Prestige.

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  6. Dan UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I watched about half an hour of it and turned it off, it was an appalling film, and that’s without even comparing it to the games! I have all the games, and love them, when I heard they were making a film my first thoughts were “Oh god, this is going to SUCK!” and sadly I was right. Personally I always thought that the Hitman story would make an excellent film, if done well and if they didn’t mess with it to much. They messed with it. The entire IDEA of 47 is that he is a big, intimidating, emotionless, killing machine, but at the same time amazingly intelligent so that he could complete his missions undetected. Even in the small portion of the film I watched, that was not the impression I got from him at all, he just seemed like some young guy who kills people, leaving him emotionally screwed up, plus the fact that they had him with a shaved head, rather than just being bald??? The actor they got just didn’t fill the criteria for Agent 47, he looked young and innocent, he wasn’t particularly tall, despite in all the games 47 being at least a foot taller than most people around him. He looked scrawny, rather than 47′s impressively broad shoulders and muscular physique.
    The lead woman reminded me more of the whore that 47 seemed to always run into in the first two games, who’s advance 47 would always rebuke by just completely blanking her, rather than wasting sedative, the fact that he let her get that close in the film? I mean really! She could have had a knife and killed him several times over (as happens occasionally in Blood Money if you’re dumb enough to think you might get 47 laid!).
    All in all, they would have done better just making an accurate film representation of Hitman Codename 47, it has a good story to it, which draws to a good conclusion that can be followed up if the film is a success, if not then the story ends there.

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  7. Pingback: Terminally Incoherent » Blog Archive » Live Free or Die Stupid (aka Die Hard 4) UNITED STATES WordPress

  8. Jacob Lieter UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    Agent Smith was in the movie (eppeared in two scenes in person), and Diana was also in the movie (about 2 or 3 scenes as a voice). So either you had only your brother watch the movie and tell you what it was about or both of you have only have heard bits and pieces about the film. So don’t go reviewing a movie you have no idea about.

    -Jacob Lieter

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